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Book vij. His ready smile a parent's warmth exprest, Their welfare pleas'd him, and their care's distrest; To them his heart, his love, his griefs, were giv'n,. But all his serious thoughts had rest in heav'n. As some tall cliff that lifts its awful form, Swells from the vale and midway leaves the storm; Tho' round its breast the rolling clouds are spread, Eternal sunshine settles on its head.
CONTENTMENT, parent of delight,
So much a stranger to our sight,
Say, goddess! in what happy place,
Mortals behold thy blooming face;
Thy gracious auspices impart,
And for thy temple choose my heart.
They whom thou deignest to inspire,
Thy science learn, to bound desire
By happy alchymy of mind
They turn to pleasure all they find,
They both disdain in outward mein
The grave and solemn garb of spleen,
And meretricious arts of dress,
To feign a joy, and hide distress:
Unmoy'd when the rude tempest blows,
Without an opiate they repose;
And, cover'd by your shield, defy
The whizzing shafts, that round them fly::
Nor meddling with the gods' affairs,
Concern themselves with distant cares;
But place their bliss in mental rest,
And feast upon the good posses'd..
Forc'd by soft violence of pray'r
The blithsome goddess soothes my care;
I feel the deity inspire,
And thus she models my desire.
Two hundred pounds half-yearly paid,
A farm some twenty miles from town,
Small, tight, salubrious, and my own;
Two maids that never saw the town
A serving-man, not quite a clown ;
A boy to help to tread the mow,
And drive while t'other holds the plough;
A chief of temper form'd to please,
Fit to converse and keep the keys;
And better to preserve the peace
Commission'd by the name of niece;
With understandings of a size
To think their master very wise.
May Heav'n it's all I wish for) send
One genial room to treat a friend,
Where decent cup-board, little plate,
Display benevolence, not state.
And my my humble dwelling stand
pon some chosen spot of land;
A pond before, full to the brim,
Where cows may cool, and geese may swim;
Behind, a green like velvet neat,
Soft to the eye, and to the feet;
Where od'rous plants in evening fair
Breathe all around ambrosial air;
From Eurus, foe to kitchen ground,
Fenc'd by a slope with bushes crown'd;
Fit dwelling for the feather'd throng,
Who pay their quit-rents with a song;
With op'ning views of hill and dale,
Which sense and fancy too regale.
Where the half cirque, which vision bounds,
Like Amphitheatre surrounds;
And woods impervious to the breeze,
Thick phalanx of embodied trees,
From hills through plains, in dusk array
Extended far, repel the day.
Here stillness, height, and solemn shade
Invite, and contemplation aid:
Here nymphs from hollow oak relate
The dark decrees and will of fate,
And dreams beneath the spreading beech
Inspire, and docile fancy teach;
While soft as breezy breath of wind
Impulses rustle through the mind;
Here Dryads, scorning Phoebus' ray,
While Pan melodious pipes away,
In mensur'd motions frisk about,
Till old Silenus puts them out.
There see the clover, pea,
Vie in variety of green;
Fresh pastures speckled o'er with sheep,
Brown fields their fallow sabbaths keep,-
Plump Ceres golden tresses wear,
And poppy top-knots deck her hair
And silver streams through meadows stray,
And Naïads on the margin play,
And lesser nymphs on side of hills
From play-thing urns pour down the rills.
Thus shelter'd, free from care and strife,.
May I enjoy a calm through life;
See faction, safe in low degree,
As men at land see storms at sea,.
And laugh at miserable elves,
Not kind, so much as to themselves,
Curs'd with such souls of base alloy,.
As can possess but not enjoyi
Debarr'd the pleasure to impart
By Av'rice, sphincter of the heart,
Who wealth hard earn'd by guilty cares
Bequeath untouch'd to thankless heirs.
May I, with look ungloom'd by guile,
And wearing virtue's liv'ry, smile,
Prone the distressed to relieve,
And little trespasses forgive,
With income not in fortune's pow'r,
And skill to make a busy hour,
With trips to town, life to amuse,
To purchase books, and hear the news,.
To see old friends, brush off the clown,
And quicken taste at coming down.
Unhurt by Sickness' blasting rage,
And slowly mellowing into age,
When fate extends its gathering gripe,
Fall off like fruit grown fully ripe:
Quit a worn being without pain,
In hope to blossom soon again.
ILENT nymph with curious eye!
Who, the purple ev'ning, lie
On the mountain's lonely van
Beyond the noise of busy man,
Painting fair the form of things,
While the yellow linnet sings; 2
Or the tuneful nightingale
Charms the forest with her tale;
Come with all thy various hues,
Come and aid thy sister muse :
Now while Phoebus riding high
Gives lustre to the land and sky!
Grongar hill invites my song,
Draw the landscape bright and strong;
Grongar, in whose mossy cells
Sweetly musing Quiet dwells;
Grongar, in whose silent shade
For the modest Muses made,
So oft I have, the evening still
At the fountain of a rill,
Sat upon a flow'ry bed,
With my hand beneath my head;
While stray'd my eyes o'er Towy's flood,
Over mead, and over wood,
From house to house, from hill to hill,
Till Contemplation had her fill.
About his chequer'd sides I wind,
And leave his brooks and meads behind;
And groves and grottoes where I lay,
And vistoes shooting beams of day;
Wide and wider spreads the vale ;
As cireles on a smooth canal;
The mountains round, unhappy fate!
Sooner or later of all height!
Withdraw their summits from the skies,
And lessen as the others rise!
Still the prospect wider spreads,
Adds a thousand woods and meads,
Still it widens, widens still,
And sinks the newly risen hill.
Now I gain the mountains brow;
What a landscape lies below!
No clouds, no vapours intervene,
For the gay, the open scene
Does the face of nature show,
In all the hues of heaven's bow !
And swelling to embrace the light,
Spreads around beneath the sight.
Old castles on the cliffs arise
Proudly tow'ring in the skies!
Rushing from the woods, the spires
Seem from hence ascending fires!
Half his beams Apollo sheds
On the yellow mountain-heads!
Gilds the fleeces of the flocks,
And glitters on the broken rocks!
Below me trees unnumber'd rise,
Beautiful in various dyes;
The gloomy pine, the poplar blue,
The yellow beech, the sable yew,
The slender fir, that taper grows,
The sturdy oak, with broad-spread boughs;
And beyond, the purple grove,
Haunt of Phillis, queen of Love!
Gaudy as the op'ning dawn,
Lies a long and level lawn,
On which a dark hill steep and high,
Holds and charms the wand'ring eye;
Deep are his feet in Towy's flood,
His sides are cloth'd with waving wood,
And ancient towers crown his brow,
That cast an awful look below;